UW-CTRI Staff Attend Statewide Conference

UW-CTRI Outreach staff attended the annual state conference of the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. Here, Christy Vogt of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services speaks to the group.

Several UW-CTRI staff members attended the annual Tobacco Prevention and Control Program statewide conference this past month in the Wisconsin Dells.

The meeting included a wide array of breakout sessions and large group sessions for outreach specialists to connect with partners across the state, including the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and the American Cancer Society. It also included groups who work with disparate populations and coalitions working for smoke-free campuses and municipalities.

The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, housed under the state’s department of health services, works to provide information in order to lower the rate of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations like teenagers and those of a lower socioeconomic status.

“I attended a communications data breakout session that was very useful, as it helped to present data in a way to make it digestible for an audience,” said Senior Regional Outreach Specialist Roger Dier. “I had not been at the conference for several years, and it was really good to be able to go back.”

Dier was joined by Western Regional Outreach Specialist Kris Hayden, Southeastern Regional Outreach Specialist Allie Gorrilla, Southern Regional Outreach Specialist Amy Skora, and Director of Education and Outreach Rob Adsit in attending the conference.

Some sessions focused on cognition, while others focused on the dangers of hearing only one story in the process of controlling tobacco use. The conference also included sociologically based presentations on the different kinds of oppression present for tobacco users related to race, class, gender and religion, as well as other large group presentations on health equity.

“I thought it was really worth my time,” Dier said.

The only downer of the conference was that four of the five UW-CTRI attendees fell ill following the conference with flu-like symptoms, with Kris Hayden being the only one avoiding illness.

“Any time we can get together with folks working on tobacco prevention is great,” Hayden said. “We’re all in this to help Wisconsin residents.”